Heaven, Hell, and Everything In-between
By Citizen Downspout (citizen_downspout@hotmail.com)

Summary: Death and Xanatos have a little chat.

Rated: PG

Author's Note: I have been reading to much Terry Pratchett.


Xanatos drummed his pencil on the desk. Fox had made it perfectly clear she never wanted to hear about Her or that day again. Her
was Death, but Fox had a fit whenever someone mentioned the name. True, he didn't want to be caught up in her business again
either, but he did have some things he wanted to ask Her. Sighing, he looked at the reports that would not be read any time soon. He
leaned over to put them and the pencil in a drawer. When he sat back up, Death was perched on the edge of his desk. Her empty eye
sockets seemed to watch him thoughtfully.

"You wanted to speak with me?"

Xanatos quickly regained his composure. "Yes, I did. I have some questions," he replied.

"No one has wanted to see me. Ever. I'm surprised. You may ask your questions."

Xanatos leaned forward. "How do I achieve immortality?"

"You can't. It is not possible."

"But… The Children of Oberon…"

"Are not truly immortal. They are just very hard to kill. They die eventually. It just takes longer than you can comprehend, so
humans just assumed they were immortal. Eventually, they believed it too."

"So, it is not possible?"

"No. Not at all. Why do you want it anyway? To see your friends and family die?"

"No. I just… I'm afraid…"

"Of me?" she asked, amused.

"Of what you represent."

"Is it death you fear, or judgment?"
Xanatos was silent. He stared at his desk in mild embarrassment.

"Where will I go?" he asked quietly, fearing the answer.

"Wherever you think you should go," was her reply.

"I don't understand…"

"It is a very complicated process. I will try to explain it the best I can. When you die, I take your soul out of your body and send you
on your merry little way to judgment. Now, judgment is whatever you believe. Some people believe that it is an angel who looks at
your biography and tallies your sins. Others believe that your heart is weighed, and the weight of your heart determines your
destination. Ultimately, judgment is yourself."

Xanatos looked up, confusion shining in his eyes.

"We are always our own worst critics, David Xanatos. You go where you believe, and I mean really deep down believe it in your soul
believe, you deserve to go." Death watched him for a moment. "Where are you going, David Xanatos?"

Xanatos lowered his head in shame. "I'm afraid to say what I think."

"It is never too late to start again. Your son was another chance for you. Fate will not be so generous again, I am certain."'

Xanatos looked up. "I will do better this time."

Death smiled and patted his hand. "Good for you."

Xanatos thought for a moment. "Is there an end to you as well?"

Death sighed and stood. "Sooner than you would think."

"What does that mean?"

"Death is a name, and a job. Some Deaths retire, and some are fired. Then another is found and the position is filled. I am not the
first Death. He was fired after he began to care for his 'clients'. It is very hard not to care about what you do. Especially when it
involves ones as young as your son."

"I can imagine."

Death turned to him slowly. Xanatos felt a shiver run down his spine. Her eyes narrowed.

"No. You can't."

The End